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Vinahouse Space: Restoring Old Houses, Preserving a Culture

The Northern, Southern and Central regions of Vietnam are filled with centuries-old houses that are attracting interest from all over the world because of their antiquity and beauty. The Vinahouse Space located about 7 kilometers from Hoi An and owned by a Mr. Le Van Vinh is an 11,000 sq. m.-open house museum where these ancient houses can be found.

It has been Vinh’s personal mission to restore old houses to keep them from being destroyed to give way to modern structures. He believes that the houses represent a part of Vietnam’s culture in the field of architecture, farming, behavior and lifestyle, among others and he has to do something about it so that the future generation can have something to learn and actually see from its ancestors.

Vinh established Vinahouse Space to fulfill his dream and it wasn’t an easy one, but something that he is truly proud of. He and his staff spent a long 15 years just to identify the 500 ancient houses in the provinces of Bac Ninh, Quang Nam, Hue, Quang Binh and Quang Tri. Through time, the museum has accumulated 2,000 wooden exhibits including furniture; interior decorations; wood sculptures; and farming and carpentry tools. Traditional wood used in the past are bamboo, timber and coconut leaves or palm which the local residents planted themselves in order to harvest later on and make houses. Aside from providing protection, using the available resources saved the people money. Vinahouse Space has preserved some traditional houses for the sole purpose of viewing for the visitors, but it has also restored important structures for pure love of the art.

The Ruong house is one such ancient house restored by the museum which is associated with the old imperial capital in Hue City, famous for its unique wooden beams and pillars. Vinh’s team also restored the houses of the ethnic group Cu Tu in Tay Giang District, Quang Nam Province which are one-of-a-kind being made out of coconut shells and bamboo instead of the usual palm leaves. Some portions of the houses are shaped like a conical hat and serve as the cooking area and restaurant. A hundred-old house which was the oldest in the province but in bad condition was also worked on, preserving all the furniture and kitchen utensils in an attempt to retain its original state. A traditional wooden fuel stove was kept intact while the roof which was uniquely made of coconut shells was fixed. Vinh’s restoring team is in the process of creating products and recreational activities to attract tourists into the place.


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In general, Vinahouse Space is still a work in progress. But the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism in the province sees its potential and is developing the area to make it a legitimate tourist destination. This includes putting up a craft center displaying products from Kim Bong Village, introducing the carpentry of Hoi An, showcasing local art performances, teaching cooking classes and other promotional activities.

Vinahouse Space aims to welcome at least 600 visitors per month. With its genuine passion and love for its culture, it would not be difficult to achieve this, maybe even surpassing the expected number once people realize how rich and blessed Hoi An is in terms of history and natural beauty.

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